NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Through word of mouth and social media, the event known as Floatopia spread like wildfire in Virginia Beach.
However, it quickly went downhill when the next morning, videos of trash lining the shores made a splash on social media.
Now, one local organization is hoping the disappointing scene sparks change.
“Seeing those shocking images of all the trash left on the beach after some festivals last weekend really is a motivator for people to get out. That’s the symptom and it raises awareness, it lets people know something is going on and something needs to be done,” said Virginia communications coordinator for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Kenny Fletcher.
This weekend the Chesapeake Bay Foundation is holding their 31st annual Clean the Bay Day.
On Saturday, more than 7,000 Virginians are expected to descend on the rivers, streams and beaches of the Chesapeake Bay watershed to remove harmful litter and debris.
“People have found rusted out cars in the water, shopping carts, giant stuffed animals, toilets, every year somebody seems to find a kitchen sink, so everything including the kitchen sink,” Fletcher said.
For the second year in a row, a company called Elastec has supported the foundation’s efforts with an innovative trash skimming catamaran.
“One guy, he can just drive around all day long, you know particularly after festivals and parties like you were talking about Floatopia, especially after those kinds of events,” explained Stewart Ellis, Elastec’s VP of Sales.
Last year, the trash skimmer raked in more than 800 pounds of trash.
While Fletcher says it’s shocking to see the aftermath from events like Floatopia, if each person did their part, it could make all the difference in the world.
“In the end you can come together and pick up huge amounts of trash,” Fletcher stated.
You can find the cleanup locations by clicking here.